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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 15:49 GMT
Hotline scrapped in funding row
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101 operators deal with hundreds of calls a day
A non-emergency phone line for the North East has been scrapped following a crisis meeting on Wednesday.

Northumbria 101, launched in 2006, to deal with non-urgent incidents such as anti-social behaviour and was designed to reduce pressure on police operators.

But officials have said they cannot afford to run the service after the Home Office decided to withdrawing funding from March.

The line will continue at least until 31 March before an end date is set.

Assistant Chief Constable Keith Mavin of Northumbria Police, said: "Over recent months we have been working to secure the continued provision of the Northumbria 101 service.

"But as a board it was concluded that keeping the service going is not economically viable for the partnership in its current form."

Fly-tipping

Representatives from councils across the region attended a meeting on Wednesday to discuss alternative means of financing the service.

Since it was rolled out across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, operators have fielded hundreds of calls every day.

Staff are on 24-hour standby at all twelve local councils across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear to deal with complaints relating to such incidents as abusive behaviour, vandalism and fly-tipping.

A monthly average of about 12,000 "101 calls" has not led to a reduction in 999 calls, though managers stress they have no control over the number of genuine emergencies.

One of the pilot schemes, in Leicestershire and Rutland, has already been withdrawn.



SEE ALSO
Crime line to take its last call
07 Dec 07 |  Leicestershire
Non-emergency crime line to close
26 Nov 07 |  Leicestershire
Crime hotline loses funding
15 Nov 07 |  South Yorkshire
101 - one year down the line
10 Sep 07 |  England
Line 101 fails to cut 999 calls
16 Aug 07 |  England

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